A new TV promo for Venom features some laughably bad CGI. When Sony kicked off the marketing campaign for their upcoming tentpole earlier this year, their efforts were ridiculed by fans after the first trailer had a lack of Venom. Of course, Eddie Brock's symbiote form took center stage as the advertising ramped up, and now there's plenty of footage and images of the title character in action.
The primary reason why the initial teaser was so Brock-centric was because it was released in February, eight months before Venom hit theaters. There was still plenty of work to be done on the post-production side of things, including finalizing the special effects. With all of the skepticism surrounding the project, the last thing Sony wanted was for the first look at Venom to be one with questionable CG, so they took their time. Those behind a new ESPN commercial had no such qualms about skimping on the visual effects, and the humorous results are now online to be seen.
In the spot (which you can watch in the space below), former NFL players and current ESPN analysts Charles Woodson and Randy Moss are leading a focus group to find a team's new mascot. The criteria is that it needs to be scary. Enter Eddie, who terrifies the room by transforming into Venom and wrecking havoc. At the end of the video, it sounds like the job is his if he wants it.
Fans will be quick to point out and mock the obvious (and dated) CG effects, which look like they're out of a 1990s movie. While fans should be allowed to laugh at the unintended comedy of the poor quality, it's worth keeping in mind that this is just a 30-second spot with a limited shelf life. Venom, as of this writing, hit theaters next week. Odds are, this particular tie-in with ESPN didn't have too many resources behind it, and certainly nothing in the ballpark of the film's $100 million price tag. If the movie looked like this, then Sony would be in trouble. But for the purposes of the commercial, it's (somewhat) excusable. In all likelihood, the team did all they could with the budget they had to work with.
At the same time, it's worth wondering what purpose this promo serves at this stage in Venom's pre-release phase. Awareness for the film does not appear to be an issue, as it's currently projected to break the all-time October opening weekend record. Granted, reaching out to the sports crowd in an attempt to appeal to another demographic can't hurt, but it's safe to say Sony's marketing department has done its job. Hopefully, the film receives positive word-of-mouth and can be the franchise starter the studio desperately wants it to be.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018